Last week Warc Asia held its inaugural Warc Conversation event in Singapore. The goal of these informal, after-work events is to share some best practice and get people talking about some of the emerging issues in Asia’s marketing industry.
And we were lucky enough in our first session to have two particularly outspoken (and, needless to say, very experienced) panellists to help: Charles Wigley, Chairman of BBH Asia and also chair of the 2012 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy; and Tim Broadbent, Global Effectiveness Director at Ogilvy.
For our first conversation, we decided to take a broad theme (creating winning campaigns in Asia), and we used some data and cases from last year’s Warc Prize for Asian Strategy to look at how some of the current theories are playing out in Asia.
I really enjoyed the discussion that followed – Tim and Charles both made some fascinating points. They touched on a lot of topics, including the different ways consumers in many Asian markets process information (read more from Charles on this topic in this article). That calls into question whether Western concepts of what makes a great campaign really hold in Asia. Charles suggested that a lot of award juries have a Western outlook and tend to reward ‘clever’ ideas; they tend to dismiss Asian campaigns that are more traditional in appearance with a very emotional core. However, both Tim and Charles agreed that emotional strategies are even more important in Asia than in the West, and that being overly ‘clever’ might not be the best way forward.
Some key questions from the evening:
I thought it’d be useful to highlight some of the books mentioned by the panellists and members of the audience as recommended reading.
Also, here’s the presentation we put together for the evening – many of the statistics are from the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy, and the cases are all on Warc.
We plan to run more of these in the future, and we hope they can provide a useful contribution to the industry in Asia.